Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bob Dylan's Desire & One More Cup of Coffee Before I Go

I saw Bob Dylan in Singapore during his gig here specifically on the 24th Feb 1994.The missus was not with me this time.Seemed like ages ago but his music still dwells in my mind's eye especially when listening to the Desire album.As I write, "One more Cup of Coffee Before I Go" plays in the background.The haunting melody with Bob's grainy voice coupled with Emmylou Harris vocals as the invisible gypsy girl so lyricised here hovers on my back like the proverbial monkey.

From the start,Rob Stoner's reflective bass line introduces the song as Scarlet Rivera's crying violins wail in the background(here are the lyrics...)

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky.
Your back is straight, your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie.
But I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Your daddy he's an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He'll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade.
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself.
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf.
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.


Bob swirls into the ocean deep with this song of a gypsy girl who in my opinion could have been a girl he met whilst on his travels along "diamonds in the sky" laced highways right through to the edges of his mind.

It gets rivetting after a while especially as "your pleasure knows no limits" provides lucid thoughts to one;s imagination.Images of a gypsy girl in wanton oblivion grasps one but provides a mystery...the "future" as an omniscience of an uncertainty foretold and perhaps reinforced by the impending trip to the "valley below".The answer lies by the response from Bob perhaps...just have "one cup of coffee" -an anticlimax to the whole scene.Nice irony! Touche to the Bard.Just suits me fime..I too like coffee – time is right for one now.Just a final touch below.

Here’ Bob’s foray into his thoughts from the album cover.

Where do I begin...on the heels of Rimbaud moving like a dancing bullet thru the secret streets of a hot New Jersey night filled with venom and wonder. Meeting the Queen Angel in the reeds of Babylon and then to the fountain of sorrow to drift away in the hot mass of the deluge... To sing praise to the King of those dead streets, to grasp and let go in a heavenly way -- streaming into the lost belly of civilization at a standstill. Romance is taking over. Tolstoy was right. These notes are being written in a bathtub in Maine under ideal conditions, in every Curio Lounge from Brooklyn to Guam, from Lowell to Durango oh sister, when I fall into your spacy arms, can not ya feel the weight of oblivion and the songs of redemption on your backside we surface alongside miles standish and take the rock. We have relations in Mozambique. I have a brother or two and a whole lot of karma to burn... Isis and the moon shine on me. When Rubin gets out of jail, we celebrate in the historical parking lot in sunburned California...

©1975 Ram's Horn Music

Album notes

Personnel: Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); Vincent Bell (bouzouki); Scarlet Rivera (violin); Dom Cortese (accordion); Rob Stoner (bass, background vocals); Howard Wyeth (drums); Luther (congas); Emmylou Harris, Ronee Blakley, Steve Soles (background vocals).

DESIRE was the studio realization of the Rolling Thunder revue's sound. The musicians involved in this mid-'70s Dylan project were more than a backup band; they forged a distinctive musical vision, loose and swirling, the perfect aural equivalent of the traveling gypsy/carnival image they affected onstage. Drummer Howie Wyeth, who possessed an uncannily sympathetic ear for accompanying singer-songwriters, and violinist Scarlet Rivera, built their careers on the foundation of the Rolling Thunder band.

Many critics balked at Dylan's lyrical collaborations with Jacques Levy on this album, but their reservations were just glorified xenophobia. Levy's flowing, colloquial style suited Dylan's music and delivery perfectly, and the two produced several gems. "Isis" is an exotic tale of intrigue that turns out to be a unique love story. "Hurricane" breathlessly tells the true story of Ruben Carter, a boxer framed for murder and acquitted years after DESIRE's release. It still stands as one of Dylan's most exciting, emotional tunes.

Wow! Great feel.Greg signing off...


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